Screening Your Children for Scoliosis

Kate Keenan blog

The spine is one of the most important bones in the body. It protects the spinal cord and helps to keep us upright and to walk straight.

For those with scoliosis, however, there are many challenges to walking and normal body function.

Be sure that scoliosis screening is part of regular pediatric chiropractic treatment for your children.

What is scoliosis and who can get it?

Scoliosis is a spinal irregularity that is manifested in abnormal sideways spine curvature in a C or S-shape and affects about one in 25 individuals of all ages. Idiopathic scoliosis, the most common form, usually develops in children and more girls than boys have the condition. Other types of scoliosis are:

  • Myopathic deformity is musculature doesn’t function properly.
  • Congenital curve is a birth defect.
  • Secondary is usually caused by osteoporosis, osteomalacia, or degeneration.
  • Paralytic curve means that muscles don’t work.

Most cases are mild, but serious issues necessitate surgery to prevent worsening. Depending on the gravity of the misalignment, scoliosis symptoms can include back pain, uneven hips, one shoulder blade that is higher than the other or sticks out more than the other, unbalanced posture, limited flexibility, breathing complications, and damage to internal organs.

When to get screened for scoliosis

There are varying recommendations for scoliosis screening depending on whom you ask. Generally, screening should occur between six and fourteen years of age. Adults who begin experiencing some of the symptoms should get screened as soon as possible.

Who can screen for scoliosis and what is the procedure?

A chiropractor, physician, or another healthcare provider can assess an individual for scoliosis. The appraisal includes determining if a person has scoliosis and the extent of the condition to determine the best course of action for intervention.

Part of the screening involves a physical exam which includes evaluating the body for indications of irregular curvature of the spine and uneven posture. How the patient stands, bends over, and walks are primary indicators. Also looking at how clothes fit, and symmetry of eyes and ears is helpful.

The Cobb Method is also utilized for a complete diagnosis. The curve of the spine is measured via the Cobb Method. A curve that exceeds 10 degrees is considered scoliosis. A curve of 25-30 degrees or more is significant, and a 45-50-degree curve is severe.

Treatment options

If scoliosis is detected, a treatment and monitoring plan will be discussed and implemented. The goal of handling a scoliosis diagnosis is to maximize body function and mobility and decrease pain. Since irregular spine curvature can lead to stress on the joints, treatment to address this issue is important. Your doctor will talk to you about the best way to deal with the problem. Resolution may include specific exercises like yoga and other stretching movements, back braces worn for a specific period to help realign the spine, and chiropractic adjustments.

Scoliosis and chiropractic intervention

Since chiropractors undergo extensive training regarding the spine and musculoskeletal system, they are an excellent choice for handling scoliosis through pediatric chiropractic treatment in Waterford, MI.

Your chiropractor will treat for functional support through chiropractic manipulation to alleviate pain and restore the utility of associated joints. Progression of the disease is carefully monitored since the bodies of children and teens are constantly growing, and scoliosis can worsen during growth spurts. If additional care becomes necessary, your chiropractor will work with other healthcare professionals to provide a comprehensive treatment plan.

Kate's interest in the medical field began with her mother, who worked as a Special Care Nursery nurse for 50 years. Kate began working in the medical field with a mobile X-ray company, where she continued to foster her interest and learn critical information about a variety of diseases and conditions, along with the processes of diagnosing and treating them. Kate has been writing professionally for 12 years, and she is working on her Masters in English. She loves dogs, good food, and the beach.